BBC News Ticker Says Queen “Has Tested Positive For Morphine”

The BBC News Channel ticker got a bit excited when it updated us on a story about the Queen’s horse.

1. BBC TV viewers may have spotted a most alarming story going along the bottom of the screen last night.

3. But, in fact it was the Queen’s horse, Estimate, winner of the Gold Cup at Ascot last year, which has tested positive for a contaminated food product, not the head of state.

The British Horseracing Authority said yesterday that five horses tested positive for morphine.

4. Just in case you were still in any doubt, this might help:

Matthew Horwodd / Getty


The BBC says this was all about good timing on the part of the people taking the screengrabs.

It said in an emailed statement: “The ticker on the BBC News Channel correctly showed the whole headline ‘A racehorse owned by the Queen has tested positive for morphine’ as it scrolled along the screen. A screengrab has been taken which omits ‘A racehorse owned by’ and only shows the rest of the sentence.”

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Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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